Pacquiao is not the same anymore, says Rios
|Manny Pacquiao (right) during his 2010 bout against Antonio Margarito. Reuters|
Rios' body shots means trouble for Pacquiao, says trainer
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao may still have the fire and motivation to fight, but Brandon Rios claimed that the Filipino boxer is no longer the fearsome warrior as before.
Rios said Pacquiao has already fought so many wars in the previous years and that the Filipino superstar is showing signs of aging.
“He had a great run, he lasted,” Rios said of the 34-year-old Pacquiao in an interview with On the Ropes Boxing Radio.
“But there comes a point in your age when you are not the same no more.”
On the other hand, the 29-year-old Rios said he has certain advantages that Pacquiao no longer has. For one, the Mexican American has youth and hunger on his side.
“I think I’m young, and he’s fighting a guy that is hungry, who has more to give, and who wants to show the world that he’s ready for the best,” Rios said.
His trainer, former world champion Robert Garcia, agreed with Rios’ observation. He said age is something a boxer cannot hide.
The boxing coach said Pacquiao has showed signs of physical aging during his last three fights.
“There are little things that I've been noticing in his last two or three fights... he does not have the same strength and his legs are suffering from cramps… [possibly the affects of] age, punishment in the gym,” Garcia said in a separate interview with Boxing Scene.
"There are things that nobody can hide. It happen to athletes, boxers, and there is nothing you can do [about it]," he said.
Attacking the body
Garcia said they will use a strategy similar to what they have implemented during Antonio Margarito’s 2010 fight with Pacquiao.
Margarito lost that fight via a lopsided decision, but he was able to hurt Pacquiao when he landed several wicked shots to the body.
"Brandon hits hard [to the body]. Pacquiao said it and many people told us that Pacquiao went to the hospital [after the Margarito fight] because he broke his rib and I do not want to take anything away from Pacquiao but Margarito was [past his prime],” noted Garcia.
Rios, for his part, said he will also apply constant pressure on Pacquiao and wait for the Filipino to commit mistakes.
“Honestly, Pacquiao is strong, he’s a very strong fighter, but he did not do so good against Margarito, and Antonio put on pressure. So that’s one thing I really want to do. I want to put pressure and show him if that’s a weakness or not,” said Rios.
“I put pressure, I will bring it and we will see how he reacts to that, to my kind of pressure. I always come forward, I give great combinations, I don’t want to go just for head shots, I want to go for body shots too,” he said.